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10 Skills Employers Look for from New Graduates

Below you’ll find the top 10 most sought-after attributes that hiring managers want from the class of 2020. So if you’re on the hunt for an entry-level job.

1. Problem-solving skills

Nine in 10 employers (91.2%) want to see new college graduates tout excellent problem-solving skills. Many hiring managers use behavioral interview questions—phrases such as “tell me about a time when” or “give me an example of”—to assess a job candidate’s problem-solving ability. Thus, you’ll want to prepare anecdotes that paint you as a solution finder.

You don’t need job experience to provide proof that you’re a problem solver, says Los Angeles-based career coach Nancy Karas. “Think about times where you were proactive, innovative, or highly responsive to a challenge,” like that time you helped solve a customer complaint while working at the campus coffee shop, Karas says. Even better: Show that you took the initiative to identify a problem and then solved it.

2. Ability to work in a team

It goes without saying that nobody likes the employee who wants to hog the spotlight. But unlike your career as a student, where you’re really the only one who can make or break your success, the workplace depends on teams of people to get the job done. No surprise, then, that 86.3% of hiring managers want to know you can collaborate well with lots of different personalities.

You’ll need to learn how to delegate, take direction, value differences of opinion, and play to your and your co-workers’ strengths and weaknesses. “Being a team player is all about being reliable and trustworthy,” says career coach Denise Dudley, author of Work it! Get in, Get Noticed, Get Promoted.

3. Strong work ethic

You need to be committed to your job responsibilities and understand that performing your role is more than just means to a paycheck—after all, a company stands for something beyond business and so should you. That’s why 80.4% of hiring managers want to see new hires demonstrate a strong work ethic. Show up on time, be engaged in your work, and act with integrity.

4. Analytical skills

One in eight hiring managers (79.4%) want to hire entry-level workers who possess analytical skills, meaning they’re searching for critical thinkers—people who know how to gather and evaluate information and then make good decisions based on that intel.

5. Written communication skills

Good communication is always going to be among the top skills employers look for. The survey found that 77.5% of managers feel writing proficiency is the most desirable hard skill among recent college graduates. Therefore, submitting a well-crafted cover letter is crucial.

You’ll want to highlight experiences on your resume that demonstrate your writing skills. If you volunteered to be the scribe for a group project in college, for example, include that on your resume, advises Dawn Bugni, a professional resume writer in Atkinson, North Carolina. And depending on the nature of the industry—marketing, communications, or journalism to name a few—you might also submit writing samples with your application. “A writing portfolio speaks for itself,” Bugni says.

6. Leadership skills

It’s a tall order: 72.5% of hiring managers want potential hires with great leadership skills. Believe it or not, there are ways you can show possible employers that you have leadership potential before you even enter the workforce.

If you held a leadership role in college (e.g., president of the French club), highlight it on your resume. If you emerged as the informal leader on a group project, talk about the experience during the job interview.

Also, get letters of recommendation from former internship managers that speak to your leadership skills. “Glowing references can solidify a job offer,” says Stefanie Wichansky, CEO at Randolph, New Jersey, management consulting and staffing firm Professional Resource Partners.

7. Verbal communication skills

Seven in 10 hiring managers (69.6%) surveyed said good verbal communication skills are a must-have for new grads. Communication skills set the tone for how people perceive you and help you build relationships with co-workers.

Verbal communication prowess is best demonstrated during job interviews. Presenting answers to interview questions clearly goes a long way. You should also ask job interviewers open-ended questions to show that you’re engaged.

8. Initiative

Tied with verbal communication skills, 69.6% of hiring managers reported they want newly minted college graduates who know how to take initiative. This is where the maxim “Show them, don’t just tell them” applies. In the experience section of your resume, cite an example of a time when you deal with a difficult situation in a direct way or a time when being proactive enabled you to head off a problem.

9. Detail-oriented

According to the survey, 67.6% of managers are looking for new grads that have meticulous attention to detail. As a result, make sure your resume is impeccable, free of typos and grammatical errors, and organized with the use of clear, concise, and effective language. As Monster’s resume expert Kim Isaacs puts it: “You want your resume to be as perfect as humanly possible.”

10. Technical skills

Many industries, not just jobs in the technology sector, call for professionals with technical abilities. Case in point: 65.7% of hiring managers said new grads should possess technical skills. Describe how you’re applied your technical skills in the past. For instance, if your resume lists that you have Java experience, it should also describe how utilized the program on a particular project in college.

Source: Monster.com

National Give Out Day

Give OUT Day is the only national day of giving for LGBTQ+ organizations, and we are proud to participate!  Help us reach our goal by simply donating or by registering as an individual or as a team to create your own fundraising page.

Gender Spectrum is critical and life-changing, but we cannot do it alone.  Give OUT day is a great opportunity for you to maximize your impact by getting people in your life involved.  Build a team at work, start a fundraiser with your family, or simply share your fundraising page with friends.

Gender Spectrum’s mission is to create a gender-inclusive world for all children and youth. 

To accomplish this, they help families, organizations, and institutions increase understandings of gender and consider the implications that evolving views have for each of us.  Programs at Gender Spectrum  address gender in the key areas of a child/youth’s life: home, school, extra-curricular/after school programs, community (including faith), and employment. 

For GiveOUT Day this year we have a goal of raising $5000 to go directly towards our Online Programs.  This program consists of online support groups for transgender and non-binary teens and pre-teens who often have nowhere else to turn.  Because our programs are online this allows us to reach youth across the country and the world.  As one young person said, 

“In this last group meet, we got in depth and I’m glad we did that today. It made me feel good, while also feeling like I got to support somebody who is struggling. I felt as if we’re a family and that’s incredibly important to me.” – Teen Participant Self Care Fridays Discussion Group

Your contribution today means that more youth can participate in Gender Spectrum’s online groups to find community and resources as they navigate questions surrounding their gender.  $5000 will  go towards the addition of a new group, focusing specifically on  youth of color.

Thank you for your support! 

Donate today!

Stonewall Riots of 1969

On this day in 1969, in what is now regarded by many as history’s first major protest on behalf of equal rights for LGBTQ people, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn—a popular gay club located on New York City’s Christopher Street—turns violent as patrons and local sympathizers begin rioting against the authorities.

Although the police were legally justified in raiding the club, which was serving liquor without a license among other violations, New York’s gay community had grown weary of the police department targeting gay clubs, many of which had already been closed. 

Soon, the crowd began throwing bottles at the police. The protest spilled over into the neighboring streets, and order was not restored until the deployment of New York’s riot police sometime after 4 a.m. 

The Stonewall Riots were followed by several days of demonstrations in New York and was the impetus for the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as well as other gay, lesbian and bisexual civil rights organizations. The next year, in 1970, New York’s first official gay pride parade set off from Stonewall and marched up 6th Avenue. June was later designated LGBTQ Pride Month to commemorate the uprising. 

A timeline of what lead to the Stonewall riots:

June 24, 1969: Police arrest Stonewall employees, confiscate alcohol.

On the Tuesday before the riots began, police conducted an evening raid on the Stonewall, arresting some of its employees and confiscating its stash of illegal liquor. As with many similar raids, the police targeted the bar for operating without a proper liquor license.

After the raid, the NYPD planned a second raid for the following Friday, which they hoped would shut down the bar for good.

June 27-28, 1969: Stonewall crowd erupts after police arrest and rough up patrons.

After midnight on an unseasonably hot Friday night, the Stonewall was packed when eight plainclothes or undercover police officers (six men and two women) entered the bar. In addition to the bar’s employees, they also singled out drag queens and other cross-dressing patrons for arrest. In New York City, “masquerading” as a member of the opposite sex was a crime.

More NYPD officers arrived on foot and in three patrol cars. Meanwhile, bar patrons who had been released joined the crowds of onlookers that were forming outside the Stonewall. A police van, commonly known as a paddy wagon, arrived, and police began loading Stonewall employees and cross-dressers inside.

Early hours of June 28, 1969: Transgender women resist arrest. Bottles are thrown at police.

Accounts vary over exactly what kicked off the riots, but according to witness reports, the crowd erupted after police roughed up a woman dressed in masculine attire (some believe the woman was lesbian activist Stormé DeLarverie) who had complained that her handcuffs were too tight. People started taunting the officers, yelling “Pigs!” and “Copper!” and throwing pennies at them, followed by bottles; some in the crowd slashed the tires of the police vehicles.

According to David Carter, historian and author of Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, the “hierarchy of resistance” in the riots began with the homeless or “street” kids, those young gay men who viewed the Stonewall as the only safe place in their lives. 

Two transgender women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, were said to have resisted arrest and thrown the first bottle (or brick or stone) at the cops, respectively. Although Johnson later said in a 1987 podcast interview with historian Eric Marcus that she had not arrived until the uprising was well underway. 

The exact breakdown of who did what first remains unclear—in part because this was long before the smartphone era and there was minimal documentation of the night’s events.

Close to 4 a.m. June 28, 1969: Police retreat and barricade themselves inside Stonewall.

As the paddy wagon and squad cars left to drop the prisoners off at the nearby Sixth Precinct, the growing mob forced the original NYPD raiding party to retreat into the Stonewall itself and barricade themselves inside. 

Some rioters used a parking meter as a battering ram to break through the door; others threw beer bottles, trash and other objects, or made impromptu firebombs with bottles, matches and lighter fluid.

Sirens announced the arrival of more police officers, as well as squadrons of the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), the city’s riot police. As the helmeted officers marched in formation down Christopher Street, protesters outsmarted them by running away, then circling the short blocks of the Village and coming back up behind the officers.

Finally, sometime after 4 a.m., things settled down. Amazingly, no one died or was critically injured on the first night of rioting, though a few police officers reported injuries.

June 28-29: Stonewall reopens, supporters gather. Police beat and tear gas crowd.

Despite having been torn apart by the cops, the Stonewall Inn opened before dark the next night (though it wasn’t serving alcohol). More and more supporters showed up, chanting slogans like “gay power” and “we shall overcome.”

Again the police were called out to restore order, including an even larger group of TPF officers, who beat and tear gassed members of the crowd. This continued until the early hours of the morning, when the crowd dispersed.

June 29-July 1, 1969: Stonewall becomes gathering point for LGBT activists.

Over the next several nights, gay activists continued to gather near the Stonewall, taking advantage of the moment to spread information and build the community that would fuel the growth of the gay rights movement. Though police officers also returned, the mood was less confrontational, with isolated skirmishes replacing the large-scale riots of the weekend.

July 2, 1969: Gay activists protest newspaper coverage.

In response to the Village Voice’scoverage of the riots, which referred to “the forces of faggotry,” protesters swarmed outside the paper’s offices. Some called for burning the building down. When the police pushed back, rioting started again, but lasted only a short time, concluding by midnight.

The New York Daily News also resorted to homophobic slurs in its detailed coverage, running the headline: “Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad.” Meanwhile, the New York Times wrote only sparingly of the whole event, printing a short article on page 22 on June 30 titled “Police Again Rout ‘Village’ Youths.”

The lasting impact of the Stonewall Riots.

With Stonewall, the spirit of ‘60s rebellion spread to LGBT people in New York and beyond, who for the first time found themselves part of a community. Though the gay rights movement didn’t begin at Stonewall, the uprising did mark a turning point, as earlier “homophile” organizations like the Mattachine Society gave way to more radical groups like the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA).

June 28, 1970: First Gay Pride parade sets off from Stonewall.

On the first anniversary of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, gay activists in New York organized the Christopher Street Liberation March to cap off the city’s first Gay Pride Week. As several hundred people began marching up 6th Avenue toward Central Park, supporters from the crowd joined them. The procession eventually stretched some 15 city blocks, encompassing thousands of people.

Inspired by New York’s example, activists in other cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago, organized gay pride celebrations that same year. The frenzy of activism born on that first night at Stonewall would eventually fuel gay rights movements in Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries, becoming a lasting force that would carry on for the next half-century—and beyond. 

Donate to the Stonewall Community Foundation.

Source: History.com

Stonewall Live Stream Benefit

With Pride festivals around the world canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Pride Live is ready to celebrate the history of LGBTQ resistance with a special live event.

On Tuesday (June 23), Pride Live announced plans for their third annual Stonewall Day, this year taking place online instead of in-person at the Stonewall Inn. The livestream, which will take place on Friday, June 26, is set to benefit LGBTQ organizations that have been financially impacted during the coronavirus outbreak, including Brave Space AllianceTransLatin CoalitionTrans Lifeline, and The Ally Coalition.

“From Marsha P. Johnson’s revolution at Stonewall, to the recent murders of Dominique Fells and Riah Milton, the protection of trans people of color continues to be the litmus test of freedom and equal opportunities,” Dr. Yvette Burton, the board director of Pride Live, said in a statement. “Policies such as the Trump administration’s reversed protections for transgender people in the U.S. health-care system, adds the disproportionate effect of fatal violence, impacted by the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia across communities and families.”

Tune in to the Stonewall Day 2020 live stream on Logo’s YouTube and Facebook pages from 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, June 26.

10 Ways to Improve Your Career in 10 Minutes or Less During the Quarantine

It can feel like life is on pause as we wait for states and shuttered storefronts to reopen. Still, there are things that you can do to proactively move your career forward whether you are at a job you enjoy or you are job searching. There are likely to be some days that you are feeling productive, motivated, and determined…and some days that you just want to binge-watch Netflix. Use pockets of productivity to focus on career advancement ⁠— these activities will take 10 minutes or less. That’s less time than it takes to make another loaf of bread or find something new to binge-watch on Netflix.

Plan your day

If you’re currently at home due to a shelter in place ordinance or because your employer has temporarily implemented work from home policies, you still need to have a structure to your day just like you did when you were going to work each day. When you’re working remotely, it’s important to overcommunicate—you could send an email to your manager each day or each week with updates on what you’re working on, your status on projects, and your accomplishments. Don’t just rely on email though, have a 10-minute phone call or video meeting to discuss your goals, make sure you’re are aligned on what success looks like for your role, and to ask for feedback. It is a good idea to set these meetings at least once a quarter so you can stay on track and improve year-round instead of waiting until your annual review. Many employers are being flexible about work from home policies during the pandemic and yours may be open to working with you on developing a clear schedule that you both can stick to.

In the current situation, you may not be commuting and gained some time in the morning and evening. You should take advantage of that by doing something you may have struggled to fit into your normal work day—a yoga class, catching up on social media or the news, reading a book. Fitting more personal time into your day will help create a stronger work/life balance and prevent burnout. When your workload seems overwhelming or if you’re faced with a block, don’t try to power through. Take a minute (or 10) to relax. “If you are getting frustrated, stopping for even a moment can help put the situation in perspective,” says Lori Scherwin founder of the New York-based career coaching company Strategize That. “You’ll feel better directed and will work more effectively as a result thereafter.” 

Set goals and key performance indicators

Have a check-in meeting once a month to come up with your goals for the month, success metrics, and ways you can exceed expectations and take on new responsibilities. Turn your goals into SMART goals to make them more concrete and measurable. Write down a few bullet points for steps you’ll take to achieve each goal. Break bigger goals into smaller, more manageable steps so you stay on track and have something to celebrate along the way.

Read industry news

“Too often, professionals do their jobs in a vacuum and fail to regularly see how they fit into the big picture,” says Scherwin.

“You’ll be better informed and geared up if you have an understanding of the factors driving your industry or what challenges may be on your bosses’ (or their bosses’) minds,” she says.

She recommends reading trade publications, industry-specific articles, and articles relevant to your role. To make it super-easy, set Google alerts for the ones you think are most useful, or create a Twitter list so you can quickly scan the most relevant headlines in a flash.

Email someone in your network

If you only reach out to people when you need something from them, the relationship could start to feel transactional and forced. Try to build better professional relationships by staying in regular contact with those contacts so you’re not just reaching out when you need a favor.

“It takes less than five minutes to send an email saying hello and ask how they are doing,” says Scherwin. “This way, you’ll be more connected and more comfortable reaching out again in the future if you do need something—it’ll feel more natural,” she says.

Share your accomplishments

Keep track of your wins by creating a brag sheet—and updating it often. The purpose of this is so you don’t forget all the good you’re doing at work, and can easily mention it to higher-ups. And don’t wait until your annual review to share your wins.

“It is very likely that your boss has little more than a vague idea as to how busy you really are and what you are either working on or have accomplished,” says Roy Cohen, a New York-based career coach.

“If you wait till your annual performance review, he or she may have already formed an impression that is reflected in both your salary increase and bonus. And the numbers may not match what you believe you deserve.”

Create your elevator pitch

“Your elevator pitch is what you will say to describe yourself and your background to networking contacts and employers,” says Cheryl Palmer, founder of the D.C.-based career-coaching firm Call to Career.

Your elevator pitch should be concise, persuasive and something that you can repeat with ease.

Once you’ve honed it, Palmer recommends recording yourself so you can hear how you come across, and make changes so you sound genuine and conversational instead of rehearsed and robotic.

Connect with a mentor

 “Speaking with a mentor can help you identify your blind spots, get candid feedback on how you can accelerate your career progress, and give you an opportunity to get a fresh point of view on your career trajectory,” says Joseph Liu, a London-based career and personal-branding consultant.

And just like you want to keep this career-boosting task to 10 minutes or less, your mentor will appreciate you being as brief as possible too. Come prepared with detailed questions so you use the time as efficiently as possible.

Learn new skills

Look for ways to learn skills that are relevant to your industry. Listen to podcasts, read business books, watch YouTube tutorials, sign up for online classes — there are plenty of ways you can learn and improve your skills without leaving your couch.

Another way to learn new skills is to start something of your own like a blog, newsletter, or writing a business plan for a company. Think of ways you can get the skills you want on your own. A passion project can make you stand out during your job search and it could even become your full-time job.

Brainstorm your dream job

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re in a career slump, “What do you want to do with your life?” is a question that’s often asked and hard to answer.

If you’re looking for a job, you need to be looking at job ads, but even if you’re not in active job-search mode, job descriptions can serve as useful intel about the requirements and qualifications you’ll need to advance your career or change industries.

Check job posting boards for examples of jobs you envision for yourself and the key qualifications and experience you need. The information you gather will serve as a baseline for what companies are looking for and where you currently stand.

Brenda Hoehn, a Missouri-based life coach, recommends a 10-minute exercise for discovering your dream job: Write down the qualities of your ideal job, such as company culture, compensation, work-life balance and stress level. Don’t limit yourself to a particular title or company—think about what would make you happy. If it’s working with people, put that down. If it’s flexible hours, write that. Then, do some online searching for jobs that fit those descriptions.

“A position that you may not have originally thought was something that you wanted may appear and have everything that you would have ever asked for and more! Be open to possibilities,” says Hoehn.

Get feedback on your resume

Your resume is your first point of contact with a company. You want it to make a great first impression to help you land a job interview. Easier said than done. Could you use some help? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster’s Resume Writing Service. You’ll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume’s appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter’s first impression.

“It’s very difficult to be objective about yourself and your experience,” says Palmer. “You may not be presenting yourself in the best possible light on paper, but it’s hard to know that without objective feedback,” says Palmer. Take 10 (or fewer) minutes to send out your resume to Monster for a professional assessment.

Source: Monster.com